Retrofit monitoring solutions for factories
Industries in manufacturing across the globe are on the constant lookout for solutions for enabling smart factories. Technologies that can monitor, analyze and automate most of the complex procedures involved in their manufacturing process. Industrial IoT solutions are perfect for such scenario as the technology can provide deeper insights and intricate details to the concerned personnel. The connected factory or “connected industrial plant” is not a mere concept any more.
Nowadays crucial data can be pulled even from the legacy machines with absolutely no data outlet options using innovative retrofit monitoring solutions. As a result the plant managers and operational heads can monitor and manage the performance of such machines and units in the entire shop floor even from a remote locale.
We at Ripples IOT will help turn your machine data into valuable context thereby helping the industrial plant management to make more relevant operational decisions using retrofit wireless sensors, gateways, dashboards, data visualisation and anomaly detection tools. In this article we will be trying to throw some light on how implementing IOT powered Industrial monitoring solutions can give you valuable insights on the most important areas inside your industrial plant.
Transformer Yard/ Centralized Power Control Unit
Reducing power consumption is any plant manager’s dream, especially in plant’s that work 24*7 whole year. Often the power consumed by each machine are unknown entities, and some legacy machines may draw higher power due to its irregular operations. With Ripples IOT energy monitoring module, the exact power consumed by each machine can be noted and duly notified about the irregularities. Sometimes power or energy monitoring can also be used to detect operational issues. Recently one of our clients found that the load on their motor is increasing unconditionally from time to time. They found out that the load on the motor amplified due to an increase in viscosity of their mixing material. Such issues can be proactively rectified using power monitoring modules. This can be implanted at your transformer yard or centralized power control unit. We can also track temperature and humidity of that area as well. If the power consumption goes beyond a certain limit, the users can be duly notified using the alert systems in the visualization tool.
Smart factories & production area
The production area is like the sanctum sanctorum for most factory workers. It is indeed the business area of the plant and is crucial to maintain it in a safe and healthy state. The production area is also supposed to be filled with machines, workers and mobility equipment. There would be forklifts, mixers, boilers, tanks, pallets and what not inside the perimeter. Most of the prospects we met were really interested in preventive maintenance and wireless condition monitoring using low cost of ownership sensors.
Most of the machine tools are designed to operate within a certain data parameter ranges, for e.g. vibration, temperature, rotation etc. Operators can sense a maintenance issue with a change in sound caused due to excess vibration or some loose body parts. An equipment failure means an operational lag, and in turn leading to delayed delivery and cost-overruns.
One of our clients had a chemical factory where there were few mixer units, and couple of maturation tanks on one side and few kneaders and legacy mixers on the other side along with an extruder area. They also had few forklifts running from one side to another carrying raw and finished materials. Here they needed few units to track the movement and usage of machines especially the legacy ones. In these machines there was no provision to take crucial data out of it due to lack of PLCs.
Most factories face these problems, especially the ones in the assembly line. Equipment such as induction heater, electrical torquing machine, hydraulic lifts etc, will have absolutely no provision to track the maintenance issues proactively. Ripples Retrofit Industrial monitoring solutions can add intelligence to any legacy assets.
Workforce audit in smart factories
Often, we also see that unskilled laborers go near the machines to operate which either put themselves in danger or can cause serious issues to the machine itself. Our track & trace systems can monitor if the machine is accessed by the right personnel or not. We can also get the count of the workers deployed in an area from the dashboard.
Condition monitoring, anomaly detection in smart factories
We implemented wireless movement sensors along with sensors to detect excess heating and air pressure. The movement spikes from the excess vibration can be monitored closely using our visualization tool and can be used for gathering valuable insights towards the working of the machine.
Another use case we can think of is what we had proposed for a large manufacturing firm in South East Asia. They wanted to monitor their flywheel energy storage system for anomalies. The client wanted to check for overheating in the flywheel’s rotating assembly, they also wanted to track the rotation speed and check for excess vibration in five axis active magnetic bearing system and the noise levels.
Wireless low-energy bluetooth sensors were implanted in the flywheel to obtain real-time data. Our visualization tool checked constantly for any sudden variations in the above mentioned parameters and pushed the alerts when necessary. The same client also wanted to track energy monitoring and excess vibration in their robotic arms, metal press and welding rig in their assembly station. This was also achieved by putting in a wireless energy monitoring module which also comprised of a vibration sensor. The data coming from all the machines were then integrated through our industrial gateways and pushed to the cloud for analytical purposes.
Retrofit IOT solutions for smart factories
Ripples Industrial IOT monitoring solutions can help your plant management team to gather important information regarding the live condition of the working machines. With an informative dashboard and an innovative visualization cum alerting tool, overall equipment effectiveness can be improved drastically thereby reducing or completely eliminating downtime across multiple production lines.